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CCC's Director Explains COVID-19's Reach

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Oct. 23, 2020—Earlier this month, Susanna Gotsch, director and industry analyst for CCC Information Services, gave an encore presentation detailing the impacts of COVID-19 on the automotive industry. Many in the industry believe that the coronavirus has not necessarily added any new hurdles, but rather accelerated existing ones.

Not a second was wasted during the one-hour presentation as topics ranged from traffic levels to changes in consumer behavior to the rise of in-vehicle technology. 

Here are 10 takeaways that could influence your shop’s business—if they haven’t already. 


Since the onset of the pandemic, there has been an overall decrease in the frequency of accidents. The cause of this, according to Gotsch, is due the number of people working from home and not leaving their homes. 


People will be less likely to take public transportation, even when they are able to return to work. Gotsch says this could lead to the re-design of city layouts, favoring pedestrians and cyclists.


Those who were considering buying a car before the pandemic are now more likely to follow through with the purchase. 

“Car use may be less, but more people are interested in owning a car now than they were before the pandemic, especially in major metro areas like New York City,” says Gotsch.


Due to many people sheltering-in-place, the flow of traffic has shifted throughout the year. Across the nation, the flow of traffic shifted as normal rush hours saw a decrease in traffic, but throughout the day there remained a constant level of traffic.


Despite various delays brought on by the pandemic, overall cycle times have improved. The decline in the number of accidents has given technicians more time to complete repairs on schedule.


Telematics data has proven that tracking one individual’s driving patterns is the most accurate way to determine their risk. 

“Whether it’s coaching to improve behavior or to ensure that person is being priced properly for the risks they have, on a granular level, there is more data available,” Gotsch says.


As more vehicles become equipped with various technologies, accident types will change. 

Gotsch says there will be a decline in low-speed crashes as well as high-speed crashes and even the most common accidents, such as fender benders. 

“These types of crashes may be avoided altogether with ADAS technology,” she states.


The industry, which is largely focused on electric vehicles, will begin to include large tech companies as they continue to make their own investments into autonomous vehicles. Gotsch says we are already seeing this across rideshare corporations such as UberEats. 


Vehicle repair will become an increasingly more complex task, and subsequently more expensive, as accident types change and technological components require repair, as opposed to a vehicle’s physical components.

 “Adding to the complexities are ADAS calibrations which include pre- and post-scans, dynamic versus static calibration, and the variety of road tests,” says Gotsch. 


Gotsch warns that added complexity to the repair process can—and has—led to lower customer satisfaction. 

“Whether or not a customer will refer you to others is largely based upon how well they are informed during the repair process,” she says. “Communication could help counter some of that frustration customers experience."


Image: CCC Information Services 

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